Nigel Farage has told LBC listeners that he believes that American Jews exert disproportionate political power and even appeared to agree with a claim that they have financial control over American politics.
During his regular primetime slot on popular talk radio station LBC, Mr Farage, who is the former leader of the UK Independence Party, discussed with callers whether Russian influence had really aided the election of President Donald Trump. When a caller named only as Ahmed told Mr Farage that he thought that the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States was no less dangerous than alleged Russian hacking, Mr Farage appeared to agree, and started talking about Jews: “Well the Israeli lobby, you know, that’s a reasonable point Ahmed, because there are about six million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage it’s quite small, but in terms of influence it’s quite big.”
When Ahmed said that Israel has both the Republicans and Democrats “in their pockets”, Mr Farage responded: “Well in terms of money and influence, yep, they are a very powerful lobby”.
Summarising the call, Mr Farage once again made clear that he believes that a “Jewish lobby” is at work on behalf of a foreign Government, repeating Ahmed’s claim: “Ahmed, new caller from Leyton, I thank you. He makes the point that there are other very powerful foreign lobbies in the United States of America, and the Jewish lobby, with its links with the Israeli Government is one of those strong voices.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism was immediately contacted by listeners, one of whom said that they had contacted an LBC producer after Mr Farage first made the comments about a “Jewish lobby”, only for him to then repeat them again.
It is common for countries to lobby their allies, and Israel is no different, but in Mr Farage’s call with Ahmed, it was not merely alleged that Israel conducts lobbying, but that it is carried out by the entire Jewish population of the United States and that in doing so American politics are subverted. Counting all American Jews as lobbyists with disproportionate, subversive power and both major political parties in their financial grips is the stuff of antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Mr Farage should immediately withdraw his deplorable comments and apologise for them, or LBC should relieve him of his duties. We await Mr Farage’s urgent apology and in the meantime we will be asking Ofcom to open an investigation.